In Support of YouthBuild
Sunday, August 5, 2012 • 3:46pm
I've decided to write this letter to express my personal feelings about the YouthBuild Program in Paterson. Over the past several months, I have had the privilege to visit the YouthBuild offices and meet the students who attend the program. From the very first visit, I was literally stunned by what I saw. The youth are challenged to do the best they can. The instructors work tirelessly and endlessly to make sure each student develops the skills needed to excel in this every changing world.
YouthBuild is a family-oriented facility. The lives of the youth are changed by the time they graduate the program. It is amazing to know that we have such a tool, in our community, that can be used to steer our children in the right direction during the difficult times of their lives. I would rather see the youth enter the YouthBuild program, then to end up in the County Jail. YouthBuild allows the youth to build their future. Step by step, brick by brick. It also allows the youth to build positive and productive relationships with those around them. This program helps the youth to build a high self-esteem.
There are different "hands on" tasks that allow the youth to appreciate taking up a trade and building on the skills of that trade during the course of time they are in the program. I had the chance to see some of their work and I was highly impressed with it. It is very encouraging to know that their is place for the youth to go. It's not about "drop-outs" because many of those children score higher in tests than students who take them in school. It has nothing to do with risk, because the students who come to the program, come on their own - they want to be a part of the process of success.
I'm not writing this as a person who's on the outside looking in. I am there on a regular basis, and I see the positive affects this program has had on their lives. I want to admonish my fellow board members to schedule a time to visit to the site. See what the youth are doing. Hear from their ears about what the program has taught them, and how they see it taking them into the future; prepared for whatever life bring their way,. Speak with the instructors: find out from them that this isn't just a job, this is an chance to change the life of a child, who represents our future. They are our future.
In conclusion, I wish to reaffirm my support for the YouthBuild Program. Furthermore, I hope that the program will one day be expanded to include more of the city's youth. We owe it to our youth to do all that is in our power to help them make it in life. The YouthBuild Program is the engine that will make that happen. I hope that this letter circulates throughout the city and the state. If anyone wants to speak with me on this subject, I am always available.
Mr.Corey L. Teague
Paterson BOE Member
Get local stories like this delivered right to your inbox or smartphone everyday with our free newsletter.